Alta. vet college gets boost
CALGARY – Just two days after the interim dean of the University of Calgary’s new veterinary college quit citing concerns about lack of funding and too much bureaucracy, the Alberta government committed more than $46-million to the project.
News reports suggest the school is still $44 million short of where its funding needs to be, and the government has denied the money is a reaction to the parting comments of Peter Eyre, who has returned to teaching in the United States.
There have also been suggestions that if Alberta taxpayers are going to fund a veterinary school, it should be in Edmonton.
In a viewpoint in The Edmonton Journal Oct. 22, the editor of Alberta Beef Magazine said the impetus to establish what could be a $100-million program comes from two realities. Will Verboven said the first is a shortage of large animal veterinarians graduating from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the U of S. WCVM graduates classes “over three-quarters composed of city-born female veterinarians who preferred to be pet vets in urban centres”. He said the second is that the BSE crisis “suddenly saw the Alberta government wanting to throw millions into BSE and prion research”.
Verboven added that the cost of putting the college in Calgary, instead of Edmonton, “will be far beyond what would have been needed had it been located at the University of Alberta”.